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Residents identified the housing shortage and lack of affordable housing as the top issue they want the governor to address in her first year in office. While 57% of those surveyed said they approved of Healey’s job so far, 19% said they were not sure. Sixty-one percent said she was meeting expectations so far, but more than one-in-five respondents said they didn’t know how Healey compares with her predecessor on several points, including their ideology and leadership styles. Even larger numbers said they didn’t know how to rate Healey’s performance on major issue. (WCVB-TV, 4/10/23) 

Amel Ahmed, Political Science,  was announced as a 2023-2024 ISSR scholar. ISSR Scholars receive resources and mentoring to allow them to develop innovative new research and funding proposals that have the potential to shape social theory and policy. ISSR Scholars participate in a year-long seminar and mentorship program. In addition to attending in-depth sessions on grant writing and receiving valuable peer feedback on their proposals, ISSR Scholars are given unique opportunities to consult with nationally recognized experts about their proposals. Professor Ahmed’s project is titled “Framing Democracy: Can Democracy Frames Impact Support for Competition and Inclusion?” Recent scholarship has warned that the American public’s democratic commitments are weakening, a phenomenon that could pose serious threats of democratic backsliding in the U.S. In this project, she will address these concerns with special attention to the complexity of conceptualizing backsliding as a phenomenon and the difficulties of querying the public about potential backsliding events. Using a mixed method approach, she examines whether explicitly framing and strongly signaling that a policy is good for democracy increases support for the policy. (ISSR Website,4/6/23)

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the signing of the British-Irish peace accord known as the Good Friday Agreement, UMass will rededicate the 2010 mural, “Justice, Diversity, and Opportunity,” located in the lower level of the Campus Center, at a reception on April 10. The mural’s artists will join the ceremony remotely and Peter Abbott, OBE, British consul general, Laoise Moore , consul general of Ireland, and Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy will attend in-person. (News Office Release, 4/6/23)

Paul Collins published an article in The Conversation on the potential consequences of Trump's attacks on those he perceives to be his legal enemies involved in his criminal indictment. Collins highlights how the attacks may put people in harm's way and undermine faith in the rule of law, drawing on his award-winning book, "The President and the Supreme Court: Going Public on Judicial Decisions from Washington to Trump." (The Conversation, 4/6/23)

Congratulations to Adam Dahl on publication of his article "Beyond the Anglo-American Word: Settler Colonialism and Democracy in the Americas" which explores the reciprocal influences of English and Spanish colonial ideologies and imaginaries circulating in the Western hemisphere through the roughly writings of Alexis de Tocqueville, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and Lorenzo de Zavala on their 19th century travels in the USA. (Polity, Vol. 55, No. 2)

Paul M. Collins, Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science publishes " Constructing the Supreme Court: How Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Have Affected Presidential Selection and Senate Confirmation Hearings" in Polity (Vol. 55, No. 2).

Donny has been awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship that will provide him with 3 years of funding for his graduate studies. In the words of the award notification, "Being chosen as a NSF Graduate Research Fellow is a significant national accomplishment and places you among an elite group of Fellows, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers."
Thanks to his mentor, Alex Theodoridis, for relaying the great news. You can send congratulations to Donny via

The Center for Justice, Law, and Societies (CJLS) invites applications for 4–6 Graduate Fellow positions for academic year 2022–23. CJLS is an interdisciplinary group of scholars focusing on the creation, implementation, and real-world applications of law. We welcome applications from graduate students in all colleges at UMass Amherst who have a strong interest in further exploring the legal dimensions of their own work (e.g., law and history, law and psychology, law and social science, law and literature, law and public health, law and environment, law and science, law and technology, etc.). Fellows will serve a one-year term that prioritizes professionalization and mentorship; this fellowship does not not take the place of a full time TAship or RAship. Read more

Associate Professor Jamie Rowen's new article on MA Treatment Court Adapation to COVD-19 is now out for first view in Law and Social Inquiry. This article was written with the assistance of former graduate students Alexandria Nylen and Catie Fowler, who conducted 81 interviews with treatment court personnel in the summer of 2020 to create the first comprehensive account of how treatment courts responded to state shutdowns. The findings illustrate how these courts adapted and, in the process, personnel shifted their understandings of surveiillance and sanctions. (Law and Social Inquiry, Cambridge University Press, 3/30/23) 

Raymond La Raja, Professor of Political Science and Co-Director of the UMass Amherst Poll, is quoted in a roundup of regional experts’ views of the criminal indictment of former president Donald Trump by a Manhattan grand jury. “It is a historic moment,” La Raja says. “Politically speaking, I’m not sure (the New York indictment) is the best path to hold Trump accountable. It packs a punch. It clearly affects citizens and their constitutional rights.” (MassLive, 3/30/23)